Main news of March 28

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RUSSIA

* The killer of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been identified and placed on the country's 'most wanted' list, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said

* The expansion of NATO does nothing to strengthen security in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

* Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's envoy to NATO, said:

- Russia will discuss contentious U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe only with Washington, not with host countries Poland and the Czech Republic

- The United States' decision to supply arms to Kosovo is a direct, severe violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution

* A Russian passenger vessel departed from the Black Sea port of Sochi for Georgia's Batumi for the first time in more than a year, marking the end of a shipping blockade, the port announced

* Russia has postponed deliveries of Su-30MKI fighter jets to Algeria over non-payment, following the North African country's decision to return 15 MiG-29 fighters, the Kommersant business daily said

* The cave in which 35 members of a Russian doomsday sect have been holed up for five months is in danger of collapsing, a local administration official said

* A Russian scientist said during an international bird flu conference that the virus would cause a global pandemic resulting in thousands of deaths, but did not say when it would happen

WORLD

* North Korea fired a number of short-range missiles off the western coast into the Yellow Sea, the Yonhap news agency said citing defense sources

* The Dalai Lama said China's interpretation of the recent unrest in Tibet was a distortion of the facts that could "sow the seeds of nationalism"

* The United States and Russia made some progress on a strategic framework agreement, but failed to settle differences on the disputed missile defense plans for Europe during two days of talks in Washington

* Georgia's president urged for changes to be made to the peacekeeping arrangement in the country's conflict zone with breakaway Abkhazia, and asked other countries to contribute

* The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's media freedom watchdog condemned Belarusian authorities for a clampdown on independent media

* A film juxtaposing verses from Islam's holy book, the Koran, with graphic images of violence has been posted on the Internet by a Dutch politician in a move that looks certain to provoke worldwide protests

* North Korea warned Washington that its allegations over uranium enrichment by Pyongyang could have grave consequences for the continuing disablement of its atomic facilities

* Iran's Foreign Ministry rejected the U.S. president's claim that Tehran sponsors terrorist groups in Iraq, and said the ongoing turmoil in the country is due only to the occupation

* A Cuban telecommunications company intends to expand its services and make cell phones freely available, the Granma daily said

* Britain's Foreign Office announced that Anne Pringle, a former envoy to Prague, will take over as ambassador to Russia in October to replace the retiring Tony Brenton

* The Tbilisi City Court sentenced Georgia's former defense minister Irakly Okruashvili, currently in France awaiting extradition, to 11 years in prison on Friday for taking bribes

* The Belarusian foreign minister said Minsk is willing to develop friendly relations with the United States if Washington stops pressuring the country

* Uzbekistan's parliament has ratified a document formally restoring the Central Asian state's membership in the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)

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